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Soma 10, Us 5, Michael Crowe 5, San Francisco 4, The City 3, Paul Lord 3, Sugaya 2, Harrison 2, Fong 2, Tom Radulavich 1, Corey Teague 1, Chester 1, Minna 1, Tim Bekko 1, Antonini 1, Mason 1, Mr. Miguel 1, Jim Mico 1, Mr. Ionin 1, Angell 1,
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    November 26, 2012
    12:00 - 12:30pm PST  

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something towards the commission. one is two by the sea, west portola avenue. i know it's your neighborhood. took out that restaurant and also the dental building next to it. number two was two days ago, hurricane sandy burned over 200 homes in one single neighborhood. and other homes from natural gas coming out. number three was too bad to see, third and mission street where we have the bus hit by the giants finances. congratulations to the giants, but we don't want to see that as you guys touched on we don't want to see buses burning at third and mission street. we wouldn't like that for our cars or homes or outside of our businesses. number four, the most interesting project in san francisco, 474 o'farrell street, there was a fire several years ago and the same thing happened as we heard last week in 1995, drug dealers entered the basement of a building and the organization which owns it claimed they started a fire inside the building. another reason how this building is a liability. appreciate you guys listening. your support and the added
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pressure on this organization as we work to find arm any from discord there. and of course anyone who likes to read, we invite any of you guys to come out and see what's going on there from about 6:00 p.m. until 7:00 or 8:00 on wednesday nights. number five, smoky the bear makes a great halloween costume. number 6 is we really only have six items and it's a little bit of a stretch. but also on august 6th we had the richmond fires and that was about three months ago. and then seven is we may have found the second of the seven water reserves we have in san francisco. so, anyone that mr. miguel spoke of, if anyone knows where they are, we'd be interested to find out where the seven lie. so, thank you, guys. have a good afternoon. >> is there any additional public comment? linda chap man from knob
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hill. i brought along the methodist prayer for the week for the united methodist connection for knob hill neighborhood activists working for compassionate youth of the st. johns property. so, the local methodists are beginning to take some action. pastor was over there, the guardian angell said who is that woman taking all the photographs and so forth? but anyway, i wasn't planning to come in until yesterday when i went out to look for the e-mail address of one of the people i wanted to add to our list of supporters that i'm going to send to the judge and eventually to you all and so forth because the judge is thinking about nullification. you know, there are a few people i didn't have the e-mail address for, charles roccio called me and said [speaker not understood] historic works battle to save knob hill. i mentioned the [speaker not understood] and also michael [speaker not understood] would
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come and give talks for us. and when i went out to look for michael crowe's e-mail address as he moved to the east bay, i lost track of it, what did i find but the obituary notice for me. and, so, i want to remember today michael crowe. i hope that, you know, the people who are watching and listening who maybe didn't know about it, didn't see it in the chronicle as i did not, will think of michael crowe. he was one of the knob hill neighbors as randy [speaker not understood] one of the people that lived in the neighborhood. during the time we were fighting the high-rises and demolitions and rezoning and so on, these people came and gave big talks at grace cathedral. we would get huge attendance and we learned about our neighborhood, the historic. we knew it was a beautiful historic neighborhood, but we would learn about the details like the little [speaker not understood] that randy would show us on top of the roofs or the good and the bad in recent architecture. or things like the little art
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deck owe store fronts, although at that time i don't think michael crowe was specialized in art decco, the little store front i would walk by on bush street, maybe never think of. later i moved down to mason street and i was the next door neighbor of michael who lived in the most wonderful art decco building on knob hill until the owners decided to paint it in colors that he really felt was disrespectful to art decco and he abandoned the apartment. and stayed all the time in [inaudible]. he was the loveliest, most charming, humorous person. when i looked for the e-mail on the website he said he was the inspiration for art decco all over the country in addition to the books he wrote so we could see what we have in treasures here. >> any additional public comment? public comment portion is closed. commissioner sugaya, did you have --
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>> yes, we normally don't comment on testimony that's given during public comment, but as the maker of the motion on the case that -- on buena vista, i think there is some different interpretation of what that motion was. and, so, i'd like to have staff get back to at least me, and i don't know of anybody else -- >> commissioner sugaya, i can review the tape and follow-up with you. >> okay, thank you. and as far as michael crowe, i think i'll deal with it next week and perhaps it might be appropriate i'll mention to hpc, they might want to adjourn. >> thank you. commissioner antonini. >> mr. ionin, i also would like to see in regards to the buena vista project. >> absolutely. >> commissioners, it will place you under your regular calendar. item 7, western soma community plan - informational presentation. >> good afternoon, president
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fong, commissioners. we're going to begin the presentation with a few remarks from the honorable supervisor kim. >> thank you, mr. teetion, and commissioners. good afternoon. i'm excited to be here today because we are finally able to launch the final hearings for the long awaited western soma community plan * . and i'm sure my predecessor thought he would be here presenting to the planning commission as it began in 2004. but it is here finally today. as you may know, this plan is a culmination of over seven years of work. and countless number of hours by western soma citizen task force, consultants, planning staff, residents and workers of the south of market. the soma planning process was initiated as an alternative to the area planning process typically undertaken by the planning department. the creation of the plan was uniquely guided by a 22 member western soma citizens planning task force with representatives from a variety of different
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neighborhood and city-wide stakeholders. and the planning process evolved to be a true partnership between the community stakeholders and the planning department. and as if you want to take a moment just to recognize paul lord who is with the planning department many years and really undertook this as one of his projects and worked very closely with our team members on this plan. the western soma citizens plan task force set out to promote a plan with "neighborhood qualities and scale that maintain and enhance rather than destroy today's living historic and sustainable neighborhood, character cultural economic diversity while integrating appropriate land use, transportation and design opportunities into equitable evolving and complete neighborhoods." while i represent one of the older neighborhoods here in san francisco, it is as you know one of the more dynamic in the sense that it is growing and changing and developing probably the most dynamically currently here in the city. the plan that we have before us
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reflects its original intent by utilizing as a starting point the underlying zoning and land use pattern that gives the south of market its unique mixed use character. the plan carefully added and tweaked the existing zoning in a way that preserves neighborhood character and affordability while anticipating new growth to develop a truly complete neighborhood. the plan also adds new residential development capacity which is very important as we try to meet our 8 goals, key opportunity sites such as the eighth and harrison site. and recognizes the area's long-time entertainment use by allowing new entertainment south of harrison street. in addition, new innovative concepts were developed as part of the plan formation and examples including the filipino and lgbtqq/leather social heritage districts and potential stabilization policy. our office is committed to continue to work on the development of this concept to promote the unique, social and cultural history that currently
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exists as well as to maintain the historic balance of housing affordability in the neighborhood. in addition to the planning processes, the process the task force went through to develop the plan is an accomplishment in and of itself and i do want to recognize many of our residents who have been involved in the process, in particular jim mico who has chaired that process over the last seven years for his tenacious commitment to this plan. it is a model process where community voices were combined with technical resources from planning staff and outside consultants to yield land use, zoning and design solutions based on community knowledge as well as empirical data and mapping. while there are still areas of the plan that need further discussion and refinement, as a whole we feel that the community plan is thoughtful, comprehensive, forward looking and is worthy of your support. two areas that our office is continued to working with the planning department on and community stakeholders is of course the issue of 11th street which i know that the
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commission has heard a lot about with our entertainment stakeholders and that is something that we continue to find alternative solutions to and that hopefully we will come to some kind of middle ground regarding that. the other is of course the overlap with the central corridor plan which will be come tog us in two years. at this point right now i would prefer to move forward with the west soma plan as is, but to acknowledge when we pass the plan that we have already initiated the central corridor planning process and that we will be rezoning portions of west soma to fit in with the studies that we are currently undertaking with central corridor. not only do we need to grow in residential and the mixed use that is incorporated in western soma, but we also acknowledge there is a need for growth of other types of commercial space like office. particularly along areas that will have access to more public transit and that would be the central subway that is developed. so, a preference at this point would be to move forward with
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the plan as is, but to acknowledge that there will be some rezoning that may take place over the next two years. so, i want to thank you commissioners for your engagement and guidance throughout this process. i also want to recognize [speaker not understood] who has been wonderful since taking over this plan since paul lord has left the planning department. and he has certainly helped to shape and support this plan to get to where it is today. so, thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> good afternoon, corey teague for staff and thank honorable jane kim for her comments. kind of piggyback a little bit off her comments. as bev of you know, paul lord was the project manager on this project for at least seven years if not longer, and i've just been trying to fill his role the best i can since he retired earlier this year. i think the best way to start is to kind of give you an
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overview of what we're going to be doing today, but also what the long-term plan is for hearing western soma in the future. so, today we're having our first informational presentation. some of the commissioners were here in october of last year when we did a couple of informational presentations on western soma. at that time, just the to brief the commissioners because it had been a while since the draft plan had been in front of them in 2008, the good news is that this informational presentation is the beginning of the real thing. we will be moving forward. as you can see, next week, november 8th, we will have a hearing on the initiation of the general plan, the planning code and the zoning map amendments. on november 15th we will be having a second informational hearing. again, today's hearing is more on the background, the process, and the key principles and
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outcomes of the plan. and the speakers we have lined up can speak to that much more eloquently than i can. but november 15th we're going to really change gears and get into the details of the zoning and planning code changes that are proposed and how that would impact current and future development. and all of that is moving towards a goal of december 6th which on that day we would have scheduled the certification of the final e-i-r, adoption hearing for the general plan, planning code, and zoning amendment ordinances. and also hear the entitlement hearing for 350 8th street which was a large project that is also being covered within the western soma e-i-r. i think it's important to note there are several elements addressed in the plan that we talked about in detail last year and will be covered to
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some, some level today that are not part of the adoption package that i was speaking of earlier. and those three things specifically are the social heritage districts that are being worked out for the filipino and lgbtq communities in western soma. as many of you know, there is also a process going on concurrently in japantown for a potential social heritage district day as well. the community stabilization policy that is referenced in the community plan, it is a policy that the task force did develop and is currently being reviewed by various city agencies and the board of supervisors. but any action on that will also follow. and then design standards which will be referenced in the code, those have not finished in terms of being completely developed yet. we're still trying to fine tune those to get those as high quality as we can.
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and we will be coming back to the planning commission. those will not need to go to the board of supervisors, but they will need action from the planning commission. so, all of these items will be trailing behind the adoption package for the general plan, planning code, and zoning map amendments. so, specifically for today, we already have remarks from the supervisor. i'm going to give a brief introduction about just the framework just to kind of set the table a little bit. but, again, our other speakers, they're the people who kind of lived it. they took part, they either were on the task force or were specifically involved with the planning process. and they will be speaking just about the planning process overall. some of the research and analysis that went into developing the plan. the community outreach and participation, i will actually start working here soon enough to attend the last town hall
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meeting that was held for western soma. talk about some of the key principles that are coming out of the plan and some of the transportation policies. and then lastly some of the key land use outcomes of the plan and a brief summary. so, i thought it would be a good idea to kind of go back even further than when western soma was started and that was in the late '80s, the south of market as a whole, not just western soma, went through a planning process and south of market plan and zoning was adopted. as you see here. and then later on, if it hasn't been not quite four years since it became effective, but originally western soma was a part of the eastern neighborhood planning process. you can kind of see a little bow tie area between showplace square and east soma where west
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soma did not currently exist within the eastern neighborhoods, but the idea is that with the adoption of the western soma plan to fill that gap and western soma, despite going through its own planning process, will essentially become part of eastern neighborhoods falling into the same impact program and so on. we'll get into those details and those concepts more on november 15th. i thought it was just interesting to see the progression of this area. as supervisor kim mentioned, there is a portion of western soma that is overlapped by the central corridor study area. and as you know, we're going through that planning effort now. the plan area for central subway covers two blocks on either side of fourth street which is where central subway will go. and because of that location it overlaps with several plan areas. transit center district was just adopted, east soma and western soma. and while some of those
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concepts will eventually propose zoning changes in these areas, any formal consideration of the central corridor proposals are approximately two years away. and you still have to have publication of the draft plan and the final e-i-r. so, the department in approaching the central corridor efforts has always assumed and conveyed to the community that the western soma plan would be adopted as it is currently proposed. so, just to give a little bit of background and just kind of remind some of you and some of the people watching, because, again, the bulk of this work creating the plan happened between 2005 and 2008 which was sometime ago as we are about to enter 2013. but in 2004 is when the board of supervisors actually created the task force, took a long time to get all the appointments made, but in 2005 the task force became fully
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staffed, so to speak, and began work in earnest with the planning department. 2005 to 2008 was really the work horse years in terms of doing the research and analysis, the community outreach, and actually working to develop the plan. and again, our speakers are going to detail that process. in 2008 the draft plan was published and the e-i-r began. since 2008 we have been working to figure out how to implement the plan through the, prime arily through amendments to the planning code. so, developing zoning controls that match the plan have been ongoing since 2008. and in 2011 an updated plan of the version -- version of the plan was published. we had informational hearings at the planning commission. and now 2012 we are hoping to have certification of the e-i-r and plan adoption. so, i think it's just interesting to note there's way more than i can put on here.
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if you look at the back of the plan, i believe the acknowledgments section may be longer than some of the chapters. a lot of people over time worked on this project and i think that says a lot about what kind of process it was. but specifically some of the larger groups, obviously the task force put in a lot of work, a lot of meeting. the planning department was heavily involved. but also the transportation authority and the department of public health, they both had seats on the task force. the mta and also students and professors from cal poly, san francisco state, and u.c. berkeley, and many more that i couldn't begin to rattle off. i think it's important at the beginning just to acknowledge that the process was very inclusive, a lot of people, and the final plan that is in front of you is a result of a lot of people's input. so, with that, to begin our next section of the presentation, i would like to
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introduce jim meeko, the chair of the western soma citizens task force. >> thank you very much, and thank you, president fong and commissioners. it's such a pleasure to finally be here at the tail end of this process. i'm glad corey mentioned the bulk of our work was really done between 2005 and 2008, but that's not to imply that we haven't been doing important things since then. but i'll leave it to corey to explain to you why it's taken this long to finally come before you for this final stage of the process. it would be disingenuous to imply this process was not without controversy. in 2004, when this commission
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recommended that western soma be removed from the eastern neighborhoods process, and when they supported the resolution at the board of supervisors to create the task force, this is not planning being done in the city. in general, planning was a top down process where predetermined outcomes were generally packaged into powerpoint presentations and a very perfunctory community process would lead to a quick adoption. south of market and western soma, which is kind of an invention of ours, there wasn't a western soma before this process existed. but south of market is different from all the other eastern neighborhoods in that we underwent the planning process in the '80s, culminating in the adoption of
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the 1990 south of market plan. it was an experiment in mixed use zoning that hadn't been done before in the city. so, we've been living as a mixed use community for more than 20 years now. we understand it, we like it, but we know its flaws. and, so, when a rezoning process began again which kind of lumped us in with all these other neighborhoods, it wasn't one narrow self-interested group which pushed back against that. it was an entire coalition of stakeholders from south of market. really included the residents and the small business owners, lgbtq and the filipino community, arts, entertainment, community-based organizations, as well as the nonprofit and the market rate development community. nothing was working well.
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at the tail end of the dot-com era and the live/work boom, south of market was really in distress. and we all came together and made a united push before this commission and before the board of supervisors to argue the case that we would like to engage in a bottom-up community-based process that would pick up on what had worked already from the south of market plan, but what needed to be tweaked and improved. and that's what we bring before you today. first thing we learned is to have any credibility at home, we needed to nurture a partnership with the city family. we could not do this ourselves. we did not have the wisdom to take on all the detail of a community planning process. so, step number one, we needed
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to employ a little bit of humility. that was made all the easier by the partnership we developed with paul lord. paul lord and i worked in 2003 and 2004 so -- if we could have the slide here. paul standing up grinning. we worked in 2003 and 2004 to draft the legislation which created this body. and when this task force came into being, no one worked harder than paul lord to ensure that the community and the planning department began to work together and respect each other and treat each other as equals. we'll miss him a lot, but he was threatening to retire seven years ago and it finally happened. i must also mention the contributions of the department of public health and the
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transportation authority as well. both of those bodies were also represented on the task force from the beginning. lilly far hang, megan wier, and [speaker not understood] helped to take all of the policies of the plan and run them through the healthy development measurement tool. the department public health is famous nationally for. we helped to really fine tune that tool and it's being expanded more throughout the city and into other planning processes. and chester fong, who has been on the task force for many years, while working along with tom radulavich and mark solomon, managed to not only write the entire transportation element of the plan which encompasses almost one-fourth
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of the entire plan, but chester also got the transportation authority to assemble a series of grants totaling i think nearly $100,000 which has launched a western soma neighborhood transportation plan. that's giving us an opportunity right now to tryoutalley policies and programs on natoma, minna and ringold alley and lead to all other alleys in south of market. the slide shows the composition of the task force. i've also asked to pass that out to you members. ultimately the task force came to include 26 members. when we wanted to ensure that every possible stakeholder was represented on this body.
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it's been seven years. we've done our damnedest to hold this group together until this date came. but at this point we're down to 14. but i really want to acknowledge the 50-some people who have devoted so much time, so much of their lives to creating something good for the neighborhood that we all love. two have died in the seven years that this has gone on. jim burk, who was the creator of the safe on sixth street program, was one of of our first land use experts. and tim bekko, a vietnam veteran who struggled with many health difficulties stemming from his service, eventually couldn't hold it together, but dan was one of the strongest, most contributory members of the entire task force. whenever we needed anything
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done, any heavy lifting, dan was there. other members moved on to other cities and other opportunities. it would be unfair to not admit that some left in anger. they weren't getting everything that they had asked for. but if truth be told, of 50 members i can only think of two or three who were so unhappy that they left the task force. the way we structured this, we established ultimately four subcommittees. one that dealt with business and land use, another the complete neighborhood fabric, transportation focus group, and an arts and entertainment subcommittee. there were times in the first three years when, if you included the monthly task force meetings, we were meeting five times a month on this plan.

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